Special Education Teacher Training (SETT)

The Special Education Teacher Training (SETT) program is a collaboration between Albuquerque Public Schools (APS), Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF) to provide a supported alternative licensure pathway to attract and retain high quality special education teachers in APS.

Image of CNM Special Education Training (SETT) Program logo.

Applications are now closed for the 2021-2022 cohort. 

Please check this website for information about the 2022-2023 cohort

SETT Cohorts begin in the Summer term.

Applications are due February 15.

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Roles of the Collaboration

The Special Education Teacher Training supported pathway is possible through the collaborative relationship between APS, CNM, and ATF.

Image of Albuquerque Public Schools logo.
APS oversees the implementation of the program in alignment with the partner agreements.

Image of CNM’s Special Education Teacher training logo.
CNM facilitates the placement and education of Teacher Candidates.

Image of Albuquerque Teachers Federation logo.
ATF sustains the partnership work in conjunction with the APS Board of Education. 

All three entities work closely to support each other and the Teacher Candidate to ensure recruitment and placement of high-quality educators who will bring skill, caring, and passion to complex, special education classrooms.

How SETT Works

The SETT alternative licensure program provides new special education teachers the opportunity to co-teach with an experienced teacher during their first semester of teaching while taking academic coursework for PreK–12 special education licensure.  

Teacher Candidates in the SETT program begin co-teaching in the fall while earning a first-year teaching salary and benefits.  Classroom teaching is supported with rigorous coursework in the foundations of special education, curriculum and assessment, classroom and individual behavior management, and literacy instruction. Candidates will also complete coursework for a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) endorsement.

After co-teaching in the fall, teacher candidates will teach in their own classroom with continued mentorship, coaching, and support during the first two years of teaching.  

More details about the program can be found on the Program Information and Timeline page.

Teacher Candidate Eligibility

To qualify for the SETT program, teacher candidates must:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA from highest degree earned*
  • Pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators assessment (math, reading, and writing)
  • Be a New Mexico resident
  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Successfully complete APS and NMPED background checks 
  • Agree to work as a special education teacher in APS for three years

* Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may still apply, but will need to pass a Praxis content knowledge assessment (middle grades or secondary).

Teacher Candidate Benefits

  • Assistance in applying for grants/scholarships to pay for special education licensure and TESOL endorsement coursework
  • Earn Level-1 APS salary with full benefits
  • Layered levels of support and mentorship for two years
  • Guaranteed employment with successful completion of the program

Attend an Information Session

Anyone interested in SETT should plan to attend an information session prior to the February 15th application deadline. 

During the Information Session, you will obtain vital information regarding program requirements, Program expectations, as well as information on the application and screening process. 

Continuation of the APS/CNM/ATF SETT Program is dependent on funding approval by Albuquerque Public Schools and sufficient applicant numbers.* If the Program is not funded or lacks sufficient applicant numbers, SETT Program applicants will be considered for admission to the regular CNM Alternative Teacher Licensure Program in special education.

*Applicants will know by March 15 if the program is being continued for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Saturday November 13, 2021 at 3 p.m.

Saturday January 8, 2022 at 3 p.m.

Saturday February 5, 2022 at 3 p.m.

When the time comes, please join the session:

Join the Zoom Session

How to Apply

Before you apply to CNM's SETT Program, you must complete steps 1-4:

Step One: Take & pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Assessments

Take and pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Assessments:

  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators:
    • Reading (5713)
    • Writing (5723) &
    • Mathematics (5733)


  • Combined Reading/Writing/Mathematics (5752) 

Note: If your cumulative GPA is below a 3.0 on your highest degree earned you will also need to provide passing scores on a content knowledge assessment to fulfill the GPA requirement of the Program. View the FAQs & Application Resources page for further details on which content knowledge assessments are accepted.

  • Visit the Praxis website for information on exam dates, registration fees, etc.
  • Note Central New Mexico Community College as the reporting institution to ensure CNM receives your results.
  • If English is not your primary language, you may be eligible for extended testing time: Praxis PLNE Accommodations.  

Testing dates and times may be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Praxis is offering At-Home testing in response to the pandemic.

Step Two: Apply to CNM to become a CNM student
  • Enroll as a CNM student (if not already a current CNM student)
  • Application Type - Select "General"
  • Student Type - Select "Return to CNM” or "Transfer" (if never attended CNM)
  • Education Goal - Select "Certificate"
  • Program Applying For - Select "No Degree or Certificate"
    • SETT Program is a locked major, it will not be available to select during the CNM application process.
    • We will change your major upon Program acceptance.
  • Provide your previous degree information; CNM will verify you currently hold a Bachelor's degree
Step Three: Set Up CNM Accounts
  • Once your CNM application is processed, you will be assigned a 9 digit CNM Student ID number (010-xx-xxxx) & CNM email address.
  • Ensure your CNM email address is functioning properly, contact Information Technology Services if you have questions or are experiencing any technical difficulties.
Step Four: Submit Transcripts
  • Submit official transcripts from all institutions you have attended
  • Submit electronically to if possible or via mail:

                            ATTN: Graduation/Evaluation

                                     525 Buena Vista SE

                                       ABQ, NM 87106

Important Transcript Notes:

  • Official Transcripts must be on file showing completion of a Bachelor's Degree before ATL Program application will be reviewed.
  • Once transcripts have been received by CNM's Records office, it can take up to 2 weeks to process.
  • Submit transcripts at least 3 weeks before the application deadlines. 
  • Transcripts from a foreign institution must be evaluated (course-by-course, degree, & GPA) by a NACES accredited evaluation provider prior to submitting them to CNM. 
  • If you attended an institution that no longer exists, or attended an institution outside of the U.S. and are having trouble obtaining an official transcript, contact the Education Program’s Office to discuss next steps.
  • We recommend ordering three copies of official transcripts: for CNM, APS and the NMPED licensure application.
Step Five: SETT Program Application Forms 

Part 1: SETT Program Application Form

2021-2022 SETT Applications are now closed.

Only complete applications will be processed.  Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

      • Passing results of the Praxis Core Academic Skills Assessments must be uploaded with application.

Part 2: Submit a Transcript Analysis form for Special Education

Access Part 2 of the SETT Application by using the following link: Special Education Transcript Analysis Form

Step Six: Interview

Individuals with a complete application will be invited to interview with APS and CNM for program acceptance. Please check your CNM email for application updates.